Observations from Liverpool’s loss at home to Swansea

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Swansea, bottom of the Premier League at kick-off, rocked up at Anfield, where we have been unbeaten at all season, and took all three points. Those aren’t the words I expected to be writing a few hours ago, and especially not after seeing the line-up.

Philippe Coutinho returned and Roberto Firmino was restored to a role he had flourished in earlier this season. The destructive duo were up against a team who had conceded 49 goals already. It was supposed to be a match made in heaven.

It could have been.

But Liverpool made it so difficult for themselves, like they regularly do, and the team as a whole just forgot how to defend. It cost us three vital points. If Chelsea beat Hull City we could host them at Anfield with a 10 point difference to make up. To make matters worse, if Manchester City and Arsenal win this weekend we could be fourth courtesy of goal difference and just the two points above sixth-placed Manchester United.

There’s no room for slip-ups right now and we’ve done just that.

Negligence not to make signings

Sadio Mane’s participation in the AFCON isn’t a surprise. We’ve known about it since he signed yet we made no contingency plans for his absence, and it’s cost us. Instead, we’ve just reverted back to a system which was flawed last season with Adam Lallana operating in an attacking-midfield role and not in the box-to-box one he’s excelled in. Why make do when there’s money to spend? Why use players who ‘can do a job’ in a role when there’s a title challenge on the cards? Why not just bring in one or two reinforcements to give the squad a boost?

It doesn’t matter than Mane will be back in a few weeks. If he picks up an injury we’re right back in this situation again with absolutely no alternative to him.

Defensive Shambles

In the top 10, only three teams have conceded more goals than Klopp’s men. To say there aren’t defensive issues would be lying. Two of the three goals today are preventable and a top team doesn’t concede them. Llorente’s second is the only one you can go “yeah, fair enough” because it was a monstrosity of a header. If you’re being highly critical, which we are as Liverpool fans, that ball should never be getting into the area with such ease. But, it comes back to the age old question: are Klavan, Lovren and Lucas really consistent enough for a team with title aspirations?

No Composure and No Balance

While there needs to be some urgency in the play when you’re chasing a game, there also needs to be some intelligence on show. Just hiking the ball up isn’t going to benefit the team and it’s playing into the hands of the opposition. Yet we did it time and time again. It was brainless and showed we had no plan and no idea what to do. Klopp chucked on Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge and it all looked desperate. More attackers doesn’t mean more chances to score.

Roberto Firmino

Who would’ve guessed it, eh?

The Brazilian was back in a number nine position and he looked back to his best. He was comfortably the best Liverpool player on show today and made things happen. His second was an absolute worldie and he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

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  1. I hope klopp can now see that the squad he has is simply not good veto challenge. ..he must strengthen now so that the newbies begin to adapt for the new season

  2. I largely disagree.
    There were many differences to the effects of the dynamic trio of Firmino, Coutinho and Mane in the early part of the season and the game that played out last night; the obvious ones being that Mane was absent and the opposition was playing with a tight defensive line. The main threat of these players are the intelligent runs to open space for runners to run into; however the opposition did not give much space and there were no runners from deep making those runs. This is largely because they sat deep. Most teams playing to nullify LFC have done this and have worked. Crosses put into the box were largely dealt with, as there is no centre forward to aim to with Firmino getting his goals largely because of a combination of loss of concentration and misjudgment.

    Reinforcements- I disagree on the count that the personnel has to suit the role played. Mane provided pace. Asking Lallana to take up the wide berth where he is more inclined to cut in and use his body shifts more does not provide the same effect. Lallana is best used from the midfield, not up front as the stats will show. We have the personnel with pace: Sturridge and Origi. Both central players. The formation has to suit the personnel. Look what happened when Matip came on as a centre forward, suddenly there was panic in the opposition box. We have Matip and we have Sakho. Two central defenders that can provide thrust from defence. Which brings me to Defensive shambles… agree wholeheartedly.
    I would suggest a wild option when teams start setting up to defend like that. Do not push up. Get the forward line to stay near the centre line to draw the opposition back four higher up the pitch. Play closer to the midfield and defence and out number the opposition in midfield. Forget about pushing into the opposition half or thereabouts until a break of that defensive line can be done either on the wings or through the centre.
    Otherwise, play the personnel that provide effect in their roles.
    Sturridge up front and centre.
    Coutinho Firmino Lallana…. not too far up.. more central and linking play, interchanging.
    Can provide some defensive cover and marauding runs.
    Henderson Defensive line.

  3. I just have one thing to say Klopp blew it. All that talk of Matip starting against boy utd yet he doesn’t start him when available smfh start your best defense and he is it along with Clyne and Milly its a toss up with Klavan and Lovren personally I like Joe better than bought for the center


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